ALTA Supports Effort to Improve Real Estate Closing Process

February 14, 2017

ALTA sent a letter on Feb. 13 to the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) offering support of efforts to promote the understanding of remote electronic notarizations.

In the letter, ALTA offered eight suggestions to help guide the development of clear statutes, regulations and standard practices that authorize and recognize remote electronic notarization. The guidance is necessary to give certainty that remote and video notarizations will be accepted as valid transactions by county recorders, state courts and bankruptcy trustees.

“The title insurance and settlement industry seeks assurance that a remotely electronically notarized document will receive the same legal certainty, and provide effective constructive notice, under state law as a traditional, wet-signed, face-to-face, personal appearance notarization,” said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “Though states have long accepted traditional notarizations conducted in other states, it is currently unclear as to whether remote electronic notarizations will receive the same treatment.”

ALTA believes the following elements should be included in remote electronic notarization statutes:

  1. Adequate safeguards to protect the public and the parties relying on notarization from fraud
  2. Proven methods of authenticating identity of the signer through a multi-factor identification process
  3. Confidence that a remotely electronically notarized document is recordable in the local land records, and that once recorded will serve as effective constructive notice upon which the public can rely
  4. A determination of whether the state will recognize remote notarial acts performed by out-of-state notaries
  5. Require an indication on the notarized document to specify how the signer appeared before the notary
  6. Tamper-evident technology is used to assure the integrity of a remotely electronically notarized document
  7. Require the retention of records for a remote electronic notary for a period of at least seven years
  8. Clarity and consistency within statutes that require the use of notaries and witnesses to give guidance as to the impact of remote notarization on these other processes

ALTA will attend the 2017 NASS Winter Conference in Washington, D.C. The group's Remote Notarization Task Force kicks off the agenda on the morning of Feb. 15.


Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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